What do chives look like

chives

Characteristics

Height
from 20.00cm to 50.00cm
Flower color
  • violet
  • red
  • pink
  • White
  • multicolored
use
  • Bezels
  • Planters
Garden style
  • Apothecary garden
  • Cottage garden
  • Natural garden

origin

The chives (Allium schoenophrasum) is a native plant and is still found in the wild in floodplains and on wet meadows. Along with parsley, it is one of the most popular kitchen herbs and tastes best fresh from the garden. The perennial spring herb, which belongs to the Amaryllis family (Amaryllidaceae), goes particularly well with salads or directly on bread.

Appearance and stature

With its pink to lilac-colored, edible flowers, the chives are also a beautiful ornamental plant - bed frames made of chives have a long tradition in monastery gardens, for example. The flowers, which appear from May to August, are a welcome source of nectar for many insects - especially for butterflies, bees, bumblebees and hover flies. Chives form up to 30 centimeters high, slim tube leaves. You can see in dense clumps that almost look like rushes - that's why it is sometimes referred to as rush leeks.

Location and soil

Chives are a middle eater and grows on almost every cultivated garden soil. However, it prefers fresh to moderately moist, nutrient-rich and humus-rich, calcareous soils.

sowing

Chives can be sown yourself. However, direct sowing is only recommended on weed-free soils, as the seeds germinate very slowly. When sowing in the bed, you wait until the soil has reached a temperature of five degrees Celsius. Mixing the seeds with coarse sand will make them scatter more evenly. A sunny to partially shaded place is favorable. Covering with fleece accelerates emergence when sowing early. Because of the weed problem, it makes more sense to sow and preculture in sowing trays or pots on the windowsill at a temperature of 18 to 20 degrees. Seed discs are particularly recommended when you only need a few plants. To do this, fill small pots eight to ten centimeters in diameter with lean herb soil. Then lay out the seed discs, moisten them thoroughly and cover them about an inch high with earth. After that, you should keep the pots evenly moist until they germinate.

Planting and division

After about four to eight weeks, 20 to 30 of the pre-cultivated plants can be planted out in clusters. For a family of four, a perennial, well-ingrown eyrie is usually sufficient as seasoning.

The easiest and most popular way to propagate chives is by dividing the perennial. To do this, dig up the root ball of an older plant in autumn or spring and carefully pull it apart to separate the tightly packed onions from each other. Remove grasses and weeds from the eyrie and plant the parts again immediately. Then cut off all the tube leaves to a height of five centimeters.

maintenance

Chives are basically very easy to care for. However, it needs a good water supply in summer, otherwise the reed leaves become dry and strawy. In addition, you have to keep the clumps free of weeds and add compost in the spring. If you cut your chives regularly, you will also keep them healthy and bushy. Tip: If you want to enjoy fresh chives in winter too, you should cut off a piece of the eyrie in late autumn, cut back the leaves and continue to cultivate the piece on a light window sill in the house.

Harvest and storage

As soon as the plants are well rooted, chives can be harvested. The leaves should be at least 15, but no more than 25 centimeters long. It is best to cut off the juicy tube leaves with a sharp knife or scissors. When preparing chives, like many other herbs, you shouldn't chop them as finely as possible, because then they get very mushy and develop a somewhat strong, pungent aroma after a short time. Instead, use scissors to cut it into small tubes a few millimeters long. Fresh from the garden, chives can be kept for two to three days. To do this, you put it in a glass with water immediately after the harvest. The best method of preservation is to freeze the chives - either finely chopped in freezer bags or together with water in ice cube trays.

Mixed culture and crop rotation

In the mixed culture, chives have proven themselves as partners for many types of vegetables. Its scent drives away the carrot fly, among other things. Just a few clumps in the neighborhood reduce the susceptibility to gray mold in strawberries and the risk of infection with downy mildew in cucumbers. In the bed, chives must not be grown after themselves or other Allium species, and they do not get along well with cabbage plants. However, since it is a perennial culture, there is no need to transplant the chives year after year.

Variety tips

With chives, there are differences in the height of growth, the color of the flowers and the thickness of the leaf tubes. A distinction is made between fine, medium and large-bore varieties. Fine or medium varieties are usually grown in the home garden. Types with thicker tube leaves such as "Nero" or "Nelly" are suitable for pots. ‘Forescate’ has burgundy red flowers, ‘Corsican White’ and ‘Elbe’ surprise with their snow-white pile. This also applies to the Profusion ’variety, which is rich in flowers. Like all white cultivars, these hardly develop seeds and have to be multiplied by division. The flowers are particularly delicate and can be used as a decorative addition to salads.

Diseases and pests

Similar to kitchen onions, rust can also occur with chives. They are expressed by round, orange spots and light green discoloration of the leaves. The pressure of infestation is particularly high in late summer with a lot of rain. As a preventive measure, you can strengthen the herb with horsetail broth.

What is chives?

Chives are a popular herb. Freshly harvested, the tall, slender tubular leaves of the native plant taste good in salads or on bread.

When can you plant chives?

Chives can be planted out about four to eight weeks after the start of the preculture. Before sowing in the bed, you should wait until the soil has warmed up to around five degrees Celsius.

Which soil is suitable for chives?

Chives prefer to grow on calcareous, nutrient-rich and humus-rich and fresh to moderately moist soils.

How often do you have to water chives?

Since chives are very easy to care for, they only have to be watered on very hot days in summer.

How do you cut chives?

The tubular leaves from the chives are best cut off with scissors or a sharp knife as soon as they are 15 to 25 centimeters high.

Is it bad when chives bloom?

No, because the flowers of the chives are also edible.